Global Defence Technology Issue 8

This month we look into the future of unmanned aircraft technology.


Having increased rapidly in recent years, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) is no longer limited to the battlefield. Although continued improvements have been made to the operational capabilities of military aircraft, unmanned aircraft are now widely used in a range of security roles, including protecting borders and halting drug smugglers.

In this issue we look at the latest UAVs in development and find out what the future holds for unmanned aircraft. Technological possibilities currently being explored include the use of micro air vehicles for the defence of bases and the application of visual intelligence to unmanned video surveillance platforms.

We also look at cutting-edge equipment that will help dismounted soldiers to face the challenges of tomorrow's frontlines, and examine emerging naval technologies and weapons designed to protect coastal waters.

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Topics featured in this month's issue include:

Army

Tomorrow's tech: We check in on the progress of future soldier programmes and the cutting-edge equipment they develop to help dismounted soldiers to face the challenges of modern frontlines. We also look at a UK programme exploring the potential of solar energy as a solution to the power supply problem in the battlefield.

Read more in the army section of this issue.

Air Force

The burgeoning array of requirements for UAVs is paving the ground for designs to evolve and adapt quickly. We round up some of the leading programmes and find out what the future may hold for unmanned aircraft. Drawing on market research data, we also explore the projected growth of the global market for UAVs over the next ten years.

Read more in the air force section of this issue.

Navy

Keeping the coast clear: Territorial disputes and the threat of piracy have forced littoral warfare back into focus of navies worldwide. We examine emerging technologies such as unmanned underwater vehicles and new anti-piracy weapons designed to protect coastal waters. We also speak to a surface ship architect involved in the development of the French Gowind about the future of offshore patrol vessels.

Read more in the navy section of this issue.

Next Issue

While Western military budgets are being cut across the board, economic growth in Asia has stimulated a major regional shift in defence spending. We draw up a new world map of military spending power and find out how economic ambitions are fuelling a race for new military technology in the Asia Pacific region.

In the light of recent operations in Libya relying heavily on aerial power, we find out from experts if this is a trend for the future. We also explore advanced intelligence analysis to track down terrorists, and dive deep to look at technologies for naval underwater operations such as submarine rescue and hull inspection and repair.

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